Recently I am coming more and more into the realization that when we hold presence for what is happening in our inner world or for someone else, something beautiful comes out of it.
I used to think that being silent and just listening is holding presence but that is not entirely it because many a times, there are still a lot of chattering in the mind and I was thinking of how to respond, what can I say next etc.
I was away in a workshop and in it I was paired up with another person and all I had to do was allow the person to speak and I just listen...... In the first practice, all I notice was I was so self conscious and I hardly could be present to what the person was expressing and at the same time wanting to give an empathic answer.... And hoping it will be right....it was very stressful and I did not feel connected to the other person at all.
In another practice, I set the intention of just being present and let nature takes its course, this time the experience was very different. I could just sit silently and pay attention. There was no discomfort or urgency to respond. And when I made a response, there were not many words needed. The feeling of being connected did not require much words to express. I noticed the person who I was holding presence for looked relaxed and I am guessing she felt safe emotionally too. I just felt gratified when she mentioned that she felt empathized.